Winter quarter guidance

On Jan 3, most freshmen likely returned from the longest winter break they have ever had. 

Coming back to DePaul when the negative wind chill can pierce through your coat and it is pitch black by 4pm can be challenging. But don’t worry freshmen, upperclassmen are sharing their personal advice on how to return to DePaul for the Winter Quarter with a positive, healthy mindset. 

Through her first few years at DePaul, junior communications student Shelley Friend found personal time can be incredibly beneficial throughout the quarter. 

“[I] allow myself to have some form of me-time as a reward after finishing my school tasks,” Friend said. “Giving myself like 10-15 minutes before bed to watch a YouTube video or write in my journal after homework instead of going straight to bed. I feel like this really helps me avoid the stress and monotony of student life.”

According to a 2016 survey called “The Rest Test,”conducted by Claudia Hammond at the BBC, some of the most restful moments can be done alone. Do not neglect your solitude once you have returned to school. Although it’s exciting and fun to be around your peers and friends again, “me time,” as Friend describes it, is still very important. 

Zach Rienecker is a junior political science major and he’s found community involvement at DePaul to be great for getting back into the groove of school. 

“My advice would be to sign up for a bunch of clubs with your email so you can see when different events are happening on campus,” Rienecker said. “Then you can decide if you’re interested in them or not.” 

Rienecker recommends doing this as early in the quarter as possible, so you can have the most available options that might strike interesting to you. 

There are always events happening on campus and joining groups via DeHub can be beneficial. Through these events, you can network with different students, professors and faculty. Creating a community for yourself at college that offers lots of support will be very helpful down the road.

Another way to find clubs and student organizations is through Instagram. Lots of the clubs have a social media presence and are easily accessible. Never fear to send a message and ask about joining or attending an event. 

Junior communications student Skylah Martínez believes that perseverance is key to a positive mindset for the winter quarter. 

“My advice to the freshmen coming into the winter quarter after the long winter break would be to push through the next 10 weeks until spring break,” Martínez said. “I really appreciate how our trimester system gives us a break to look forward to at the end of each 10 week term, which [flies] by pretty quickly, in my opinion.” 

According to Martínez, persistence is key. 

“The days may feel gloomy during the winter because of the weather, but that gives you a great opportunity to stay in and get your work done,” Martínez said. 

Along with persistence, having a goal or something to look forward to is important as well. One of those goals can be spring break. 

It’s important to familiarize yourself with DePaul’s quarter system and what days the school is closed and when students are on break. Having these dates in mind can be a great motivation to push through the somewhat gloomy winter and work towards a relaxing spring break. 

Taking care of your mental health is always important, but it can be especially hard in the winter. Keep resources in mind like DePaul’s Mental Well-being. It’s easy to access the resources provided on campus and even get in touch with a mental health counselor. Even if these resources may not be needed for everyone, it’s important to know they’re accessible. 

In summary, remember to set personal time aside for yourself as often as you need. Break the cycle of constant academic work. Get involved on campus and find a positive, fulfilling community for yourself and persist through the harsh winter months.